New Delhi: With the defence forces planning to finalise major deals such as the one for 126 Rafale combat aircraft, the government has earmarked more than Rs 33,000 crore for acquiring aircraft and aero-engines from the Rs 86,000 crore modernisation budget for the forces. Of this amount, Rs 25,000 crore has been given to the IAF which is close to finalising negotiations for deals such as the 126 Rafale combat aircraft, 22 Apache attack choppers, 15 Chinook heavylift helicopters and six Airbus 330 MRT mid-air refuelers.
The IAF is also working on one of its biggest deals to co-develop the fifth generation fighter aircraft with Russia and the deal is expected to cost over Rs 1 lakh crore in the long run. The two sides are soon planning to enter the design and development phase of project.
The Army is also planning to induct light utility choppers for which two contenders - European Eurocopter and Russian Kamov - are in the race. The Navy has been provided Rs 6,708 crore for procurement of aircraft as it has to induct the naval MiG 29K fighters and Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers for training its pilots.
The budget also has provided Rs 650 crore for special projects of the armed forces. At present, the armed forces are working on the operationalisation of the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant.